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Romney 14, Obama 11, U.s. 9, Obama Administration 5, Afghanistan 5, Clinton 5, Europe 4, Us 4, Pakistan 4, Russia 4, Vietnam 3, America 3, Libya 3, Navy 3, Asia 2, Pentagon 2, France 2, Iran 2, Asia Pacific 2, United States 2,
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  CSPAN    C-SPAN2 Weekend    News/Business. News.  

    September 15, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00am EDT  

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that they are not able to accomplish and that there is a third category, things and set that they end up doing. going back to candidate obama four years ago it would be don't ask don't tell. says he wants to stop it and does stop it. category 2, i want to do it but not able to do it, closing guantanamo. category 3 candidate obama said i will carry out 300 drone strikes into pakistan but did it. what do you think -- give me an example of each of these moving forward. what do candidate romney and candidate obama and particularly the third category the unsaid that they have to do. you don't get away without that. you get the tougher question.
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how might the media do a better job of informing this debate? we seem to have a disconnect between what is said and what is reported and the american public's understanding. it hits a lot of issues whether it is policy or budget trends. recent data showed roughly almost half of americans don't realize we have the world's largest defense budget. a pretty odd phenomena in. >> thanks. in terms of what he will do i think he will reduce the size of the military. the next president. makes it harder to do either one. a president romney would reduce the pace of cuts. i don't think he has the money to do everything he is
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proposing. on the campaign platform he wants to hold the gdp at 4% which over time would be a large difference between him and president obama but i don't put that in the same category as more specific suggestions he has offered but either president would cut some ground force. either president is going to have a hard time wrestling with iran and may wind up being complicitous and participatory in an israeli attack which runs counter to my first point except we would not do the iran strike with ground forces and the last point i would make is even with his own plan more money to accomplish it than currently projected. like all presidents before them there is a mismatch in these two
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gentlemen's plan and budget. plans to reduce weapons or limit the growth sound nice but they will require more money than currently projected with firm caps from a budget framework gets harder to do that so hold the line with their own plans need to come back to congress and ask for more money and that will be complicated with long-term budget agreement. one last point if i could and todd could clean this up. two defense specialists in one specific way make a counter argument and he could come back in a second. in the past we could do what we wanted but now we face budget constraints more binding. i am not sure we defense specialists in the past or present are ever so accurate as what we project about what the world will require of american power if we can claim that ability for 1940s or 50s or 60s or 70s for today.
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in the 40s we didn't have money to keep a force capable of handling korea. in the 50s we build nuclear weapons as part of eisenhower's new look but didn't have an army that could handle vietnam. in the vietnam era relatively mediocre job waiting that counterinsurgency and nixon had to pull back in '69 and say we won't be ready for these multiple wars because we can't afford it. a similar moment in some ways strategically to where we are today. in the 1970s we had our worst post-world war ii planning decade and lead to a hollow force where the quality of people in uniform was not as high as it is today and we had rampant problems with drug abuse and even ronald reagan even though he had ambitious goals and did increase the size and strength of the military in many ways was operating under a contract that said one big war
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in europe for smaller work elsewhere. quince strategy could never be specific to say that would be enough and since that time we tried to build our forces around two capabilities and turned out when we fight two worse we couldn't and we were collectively including myself incorrect in our assessment of what might be for two work capability and no one thought one of them would be afghanistan. the fact the we are having to choose where to plan and how to keep our aspirations and appetites in check i would argue on balance it is not that new because we strategists have no monopoly on wisdom anyway and we need the budget debate to constrain us. on balance i like the interaction of american politics between defense strategists out there saying there are 14 wars that could happen tomorrow and you better be ready for all of the land but specialists say we have other things to worry about too. >> to pick up on that remark
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before your specific question. it is always an interesting interplay between strategy and budget and i don't think it would be ideal to set your strategy first and say this is what i want my military to be able to do and budget for that. that would be too simple because he would end up with a strategy you couldn't afford. you want to plant for a number of conflicts at the same time why not 14 rather than two? if you try to do that it would spiral out of control? ideally strategy and budget have to be developed. you have to come up with a strategy and see what resources are required to execute that strategy. if we don't think we will have those resources let's constrain our strategy and check again and see if it is fiscally responsible. you have to go back and forth. unfortunately too often it is
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the budget that comes first. we set the budget level and try to fill in the strategy behind that. both camps are guilty of this. if you pick an arbitrary percentage of gdp and 4% is arbitrary. i can't find a rational basis for it. it is not post world war ii average. your putting the budget first and trying to fill a strategy that find a way to spend that money and likewise if you say i had constraints in the budget control act and try to fill in a strategy i don't think those are productive approaches. to your specific question what will the obama administration be able to accomplish? the drawdown in afghanistan. i think they will complete that as they say they will. the reduction of 100,000 in industry i think they will go
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through with that. what they probably won't be able to achieve is avoiding sequestration in the way they want to. on vote romney side the planned increase in shipbuilding i don't know if they will get 15 ships trier but they will shift more resources to shipbuilding. in terms of their plan to reverse the reduction from the obama administration i am not sure if they will be able to do that or not. the planned growth in the defense budget to 4% gdp is unlikely to occur. there aren't a lot of specifics what they mean by that. they do say the defense budget. i look back and we haven't spent 4% gdp in over 20 years. is it likely we will ramp back up to that as we are trying to reduce the deficit? we are trying to reduce spending. that will be hard to do.
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if you gradually ramp up 4% gdp over the next presidential term by 2017 and that president leaves office or is running for a second term, that would be 39% more in defense spending than the obama plan would be. that is a significant increase. the thing that both administrations are going to have to confront but no one wants to talk about is something i alluded to earlier. military personnel costs. military personnel costs have been growing faster than the rest of the defense budget. this includes pay and benefits and particularly health care costs. if you look at the last decade the cost per person in the military grew 46%. if we continued that level of growth by 2039 military personnel costs would consume the entire defense budget. that won't happen. we won't let that happen.
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what will happen is if we can't control growth in military personnel costs how will we just? reduce personnel and as costs continue to grow you get to the point that you have a military too small to do anything. that is one of the factors that if not in the next presidential term but the next week to presidential terms they have to come grips, that aware require some unpopular decisions to push that through. >> extremely interesting. go back to the sequestration. if in fact the u.s. is going to have to act on that it is not just the numbers that you are going to deal with what the affect that that is going to have psychologically on business, the entire economy, the congressional budget office came in a couple weeks ago with the statement that if the sequestration happens the
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likelihood of a second major recession is very real so all of the things we have been talking about take on a quality of being theoretical until we address and we know where we are as a nation. the question about the amiga and why they do or don't do certain things or how they might be able to improve coverage let me try to answer that question by saying i have a program coming up shortly called why tomorrow matters now. thinking about ed maurer in the old days. will we are trying to say is all of these problems exist. the media is an extremely important element in our society more so every day. with the growth of cable and all of those. in what way can you keep the media focused on doing the right thing? it is difficult because right
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now for purely economic reasons editorial decisions are reached. it isn't a matter of somebody saying let's not cover the budget story. let's not cover that other issue having to do with defense policy. i don't even think editors and producers think of that. they have a limited budget. for them it means not making what they made last year or the year before and they are reaching at the same time for unrealistic goals -- do the right thing. they are trapped. they are really trapped. there are many people in, quote, the media in america today who know what the right things are and want to do the right things but find that they cannot because they are constrained by
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economic reality and vacuum of solid leadership of the sort that merrill provided and people around borough but we don't have that today. even in number of major newspapers. >> back to you for questions. raise your hand. i will call on you. wait for the mike to come to you and introduce yourself and final rule is all questions end with a question mark. here in the front. >> i was just wondering what difference you think there could be between a second obama term and how the united states -- thanks. >> brief word on that.
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iran policy is going to be close to the center of this but let me make a more specific answer with the matter todd raised. missile defense. the obama administration would be interested in finding a way to smooth relations with russia over subsequent stages to european missile defense architecture. i don't know if president obama could just give vladimir putin a veto. i also don't think he is going to feel a hypothetical plan for 2018 developed a couple years ago needs to be seen and set in stone where governor romney because of his strong views towards russia would see it as a way to establish in backing off on the campaign trail even if language about russia and the top geostrategic threat was overstated and not something he
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chose for the convention speech but made it pretty clear in that speech that he does see the need to stand up to russia and european missile defense is an important case in point. the other thing i will mention is on strategic nuclear arms control. of the three people i have been mentioning, obama is the only one with a strong interest in pursuing it. there's a chance that their forces and coming down for economic reasons. there's a chance they could find their way to another strategic reduction treaty and might include other warheads beyond tradition--traditional strategic ones. >> back in the corner. yes? wait for the mike. >> i am a reporter with governor executive magazine. i had a question about entitlements in regards to military pay and benefits and i
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heard comments from all panelists on that and my question was regarding cuts to the civilian side. on the military side, benefits are becoming an issue but what about the civilian side? do you foresee cuts to civilians working at the pentagon? what do you say about that? >> very good question. the growth of personnel costs has not been nearly as large for civilians. putting it in context, dod employes 791,000 civilians at full time equivalence. those costs total $70 billion in the annual defense budget. all over the world. obviously primarily in the united states but in other parts of the world as well. they're not all u.s. citizens as well. that is going to be a target in
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the future for budget cutters because they don't have a lot of influence that military personnel do. you talk about cutting military industry and get services riled up and talk to members of congress. civilians don't have the same influence. it is not as clear to people especially in the general public what civilians are doing. having worked with many of them they do a lot of great work. arranging everything from mowing the grass to overseeing billion dollar acquisition programs. could you trim that number and get efficiency? of course but if you cut too far you risk not getting the job done or providing sufficient oversight or use military personnel which are more expensive per person to do the same job. sequestration is an interesting
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one. obama administration submitted a letter saying if sequestration happens they will use their authority under the law to exempt military personnel so no one in the uniformed military under sequestration, with the exception of health-care and -- sequestration. there's no such authority under the law and they would be subject to sequestration and if that happens the sequestration cuts happen when you are a quarter of the way through the fiscal year. you have to cut enough people to make up that full 10.3% cut in remaining nine months of the year that would cut more like 13% of the civilian work force. that is 108,000 people and do it relatively soon. the longer you wait the more
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people you have to cut to make a board. civilians are on the chopping block not just for sequestration but whatever budget deal is worked out in future years. >> asking you to clarify, isn't furloughing another option? >> you don't have to fire them or wave off. sequestration and drug directorate -- retroactively try to fix it or 01 year deal and a budget agreement in the future and bring people back. absolutely. >> it goes back to the question of the disconnect between what has been reported on sequestration and what has been said in various political campaigns versus the reality of what you just said. let's get someone on beside the opportunity for questions unless there are no questions. right here.
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>> over the past 20 years or so there have been several occasions where the u.s. has requested and got what we call burden sharing from our allies for various wars. looking at just japan and europe there doesn't seem to be any money available for this. how do you see this concept of burden sharing playing out in the future if at all and if not what kind of strains might there be on u.s. relations with other countries? >> good example of the difficulty of working with a budget. that was money you could count on for a while. now you can't count on that for obvious reasons that you said. it only increases the burden of the decisionmaker coming up with something sensible on the military budget side. it also says something about the
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way in which america is regarded around the world today. it used to be that the u.s. was not only the superpower but we did need a little help from our allies. now that help is not available and there are questions. take a look at the international polling data. there are questions that are raised about the global capacity of the united states to do what once it did. whether it can do the same thing today. raising even further questions about the reliability of america's word on doing a policy. coming through with a decision. the president said this. the very fact that the questions suggest the difference in global
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perception of u.s. power. >> what is fascinating is there may be a series of actions or opportunities currently in the past off the table that may be moved on to the table by tough budget times in the u.s. and our primary allies parallel to how there might be certain reforms and personnel you don't see achievable until you get to the really tough times. the example i give of this when i talk to military audiences is the cooperation that has been built between the u.k. and france and where we see a redefinition of what it means to injured -- a redefinition of interoperable money where it moves beyond we will buy the same thing to things like joint training, you have concepts of an aircraft carrier from one
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country being manned by personnel from another country. my bottom line is if burn and france can figure out how to do this it is likely that the u.s. might look at that with our close allies like britain or australia and we're seeing little moves and more of its with budget times. >> i like these dancers of broader perspective and say in burden sharing terms there is a happier story to tell which we shouldn't lose sight of despite the very accurate statements we just heard. there are opportunities in the construction on the defense budget but if you look at the overall strategic picture in 2012 it is a good picture globally. we heard the size of our defense budget compared to the rest of the world. 45% of total global military spending. on top of that our allies account for another 35% of
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global military spending and even the countries we are worried about. china in particular may not be an adversary and probably isn't and if we manage that relationship shouldn't have to be. this is a much better world to live in than 50 years ago. i think discussion has declined how the world has turned upside down in a way that constrains us in a manner we didn't used to be constrained. balance by the notion that i don't want to do my bob hagen imitation on stage but this is what success looks like. this is what post world war ii strategy was supposed to create with strong independent powers that generally democratic and fro market and often aligned with us and even when not aligned with us like india or indonesia are often in support of similar goals. i share their concerns but i am glad the world of 2012 compared to anything of the recent historical past.
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>> there is a legitimate reason to be concerned that if you look at our level of defense spending the defense budget we're spending 3% gdp and under the obama plan it would decline gradually over time. european allies, all of them spending 2% of gdp. some are closer to 1%. it is set in law to 1.5% of gdp to two decimal points. if you look at that it makes you wonder is there a free rider effect going on? are they able to spend less on defense because we are spending it for them? we are paying for european missile defense. it protects europe. why isn't europe paying for it? be the legitimate question that as the budget gets tighter people start to ask these questions more and more. the downside is if you try to do something about it, if we said we are not going to provide as much security, doesn't always
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work out that well. kind of a hedgehog strategy approach where we try to get our allies and partners to build up their defense to do more of their own security. what if they don't and we are still left responsible for it with core interests in the same areas. a tough problem to deal with and both the administrations have to deal with it one way or the other. >> all the way in the back. >> i am editor of the blog -- thank you for the great panel. i want to change topics and touch on the subject peter discussed about the drone's strikes the administration has increased. what do you think is the future of asymmetrical operations in the next administration and will they be more cost-effective so we don't have to -- on the scale we had in iraq and afghanistan?
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>> feel free to weigh in. the issue of pulling back and looking at both candidates's personalities but also brought a trends happening behind it. we are not going to see this technology of unmanned systems or if you move into other new technologies that are game changers like this, we are not going to see it go away. accompanying more commonplace not just in the u.s. but both our allies or adversaries and also growing more capable. ramp up the number of strikes during obama's administration and that is a complex story but apart the media doesn't talk about is not only do we have more drones but they also carry more munitions. if you have a plane that carries one bomb and another guy had a
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plane with six bombs the other guy in the future will have more munitions by then. an example of what played out in the advancement of our weaponry and one of the primary system is. the technology is getting more used. obama and romney will have it as their full. i don't think we will turn away from it. the other part is the willingness to use it. any indicators that obama would shrink the numbers. the statement that he has made on a program that we are still in that weird phase of cannot confirm or denials that we occasionally talk about. he has shown no indications we are going to shrink it. romney has not shown that he would reduce it. the same goes to both the popularity of these programs
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going around 65% in american public polling and the idea -- congressional authorization and not having to send people into harm's way. the challenge both of them will face whether it is obama or romney is external factors. congress on the right and left starting to get more uncomfortable with their lack of oversight, their lack of input into this. you are seeing statements and kind of growing discourse in the american public. the environment around it makes it more difficult for the next president. more questions will be asked of them. they will be asked to issue more reports. more fighting of legislation than they would in the last four years. >> you are suggesting there may be the need for congressional
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resolution authorizing the use of the drone? >> i am suggesting for the last several years congress -- the bigger trend with the world of congress and the executive branch. congress hasn't declared war -- we are on the 70th anniversary. they haven't done it since 1942. then use of work around the war powers act after vietnam. we have seen how that has been or not been implemented and congress has been quiet on a lot of issues. we are starting to see in the last year or so attempts to start a legislation or letters to heads of agencies and what is notable it is not coming from one party in particular. it is from both parties. whichever is the winner they will face more pressure. the role of the democratic party
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which there are a number of people in congress who held their tongue because having a democrat commander-in-chief they may be more vocal than they would have been. >> that is a very thoughtful answer. three points to remind those who think of drones as sheep silver bullets. you were not suggesting that. drones are all only effective to the extent they're backed up by extremely good intelligence and classified $80 billion a year on american intelligence and only effective in pakistan because of the ground presence of american forces in afghanistan because otherwise there would be no basis in which to operate them nor would we have human intelligence capabilities i just talked about and that operation is costing one hundred billion dollars a year. that will not require a level of investment to sustain in the future but it will be in the tens of billions beyond 2014.
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even though libya was the triumph of limited uses of force there hasn't been repeat performance. an easy way to decide wars in their favor. in yemen by now, would have been ushered in by their effectiveness but that hasn't happened. as much as they are important, because all these controversies rightly so they are not always going to be a silver bullet. >> the drones we have today, primarily only e useful in a permissive environment where we have taken out the air defense as we did in libya or there are no air defenses and we own the air space like iraq and afghanistan. that makes these systems able to operate. they cannot operate, vast majority of them cannot operate
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in a benign environment with service to air missiles to shoot them down and relatively defenseless. if we are going to maintain this advantage we are going to increasingly shift their technology to invest more -- better protected. >> that is an interesting example of a big topic in defense. one of the core questions for the next four to eight years in the air force, in the navy will be these debates over how far to go with unmanned systems and how much to invest versus and systems and the signature programs and questions of the law and the usage of it. and what happens when other nations plan, these are big questions and you won't hear them talk about. and arguably every one of those
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phenomena applies to cyber. questions on how much can the president utilize or not. not president obama but the president in terms of the executive branch. how much is congress involved? which agency should be in charge? the commander-in-chief will deal with the version we are not talking about because we are more focused on straight budget issues or not even exploring the rest of the defense policy. back there. >> i thank you -- for talking about sharing the burden. not that secretary clinton and secretary panetta have both run to the asia pacific recently. in the convention secretary clinton is not there.
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the significance of this is dramatic. would you give us the number of the budget for the state department together and i believe that is the smart way by diplomatic and more allies internationally than ever before and control but we have allies fighting for themselves everywhere else and they would come to asia. what can we expect to reduce here and in polls our presence in the asia pacific and also right now in virginia the first round of negotiations going on with all the representatives
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search and it is to be here for those that are significant. would you give us the number between the defense and the state department and we should say congratulations to president obama and secretary clinton. >> let me put a sharper point on that. how might the two candidates feel differently with the non dod part of national security? the other agency? how might they handle the difficult for the same? do you see a different approach on not just asia big picture as you put it. but how they handle specific issues? >> two specific things.
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a very hard and welcome question. the overall magnitude of spending in the range of $50 billion. roughly 10% when you add those two and together relative to the defense budget. as our colleague has said we should shift more of our aid to the civilian side of the equation and the a little tougher. that was a recommendation in the worst impasse of 2,011. that is just one country. on the broader era of awakening and middle east reform we have a huge stake in egypt. so far on balance, to the extent the new government wants to make tough decisions in the coming month we have to support that with economic help and i was glad to see the discussion of helping with some of its dead but i think the meager amounts
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of funds available now are inadequate to the challenge each of faces. we need a friendly stable egypt to. on balance i am worried to use examples like that. tough love towards pakistan where you might increase one area to get the american public support something seen as a less effective form of american power. >> can't play moderator with a former host of meet the press without putting this on a question. [talking over each other] >> how would romney versus obama handle these issues? taking a different approach as you look at what we should do and what we thought we should do in pakistan or egypt having a fundamentally different approach? >> great question. i don't know how it could be the one. endeavour birdy the one talk about two countries i mentioned with any specificity. or even the broader region of
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the arab middle east. maybe it is a punch but i can speculate but i don't think either candidate has done anything. this gets to what you argued in the beginning. we need to draw them out on some issues that are more than just small details and future american policy. >> i have the sense the we have a flavor of what it is mitt romney and obama have been saying ann romney i was trying to articulate earlier is trying to suggest to the world that as he becomes president it is going to be a reaffirmation of american exceptionalism and that will mean more than an emphasis on defense on the military than what it is secretary clinton is working on right now. there's a distinct difference between suggesting what his administration is going to be
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like and what it is the obama administration is. there's a clear difference between the two. one is attempting to reach out. the other is attempting to be muscular and strong and what the rest of the world -- >> i apologize. i do not have a specific number of the foreign affairs budget in the neighborhood of fifty billion which is before we spend dod. i tend to agree with mike and martin that it is hard to read what the actual differences would be between the obama ann romney administration. the difference is more one of rhetoric than action. the talk might be different but the actions would be pretty similar because so much policy is dictated by domestic politics
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and the events happening in the world but as they unfold who would have thought it just a few months before we went in to libya and took on that -- who would have thought we redoing anything in a no-fly zone? who saw the arabs spring coming until was right upon us? so much depends on world events. i don't think a change in administration will affect it. >> when a candidate says something and in the course of the campaign the record is clear he can be held to that and he is aware that he can be held to that because quite often during the campaign candidate is cautious about what he is prepared to say. you go on the repetition of certain things. suggestions -- romney has been reasonably clear that he is going to be more aggressive with
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respect to iran than obama. he has made fun of the way obama has tried to deal with that making fun of the early reaching out and getting the hand slapped back. my gut feeling is the reality will dictate that one or the other will respond essentials the to the same way but at this point during the campaign it is fair to say if romney were to win and then hold back with respect to iran some groups could look and say you were suggesting something quite different during the campaign. >> the problem with iran and the reason romney isn't more specific when he would do different from obama is there are not good options. you look at what we could do in terms of an air strike ended is not a good option. you play it out and how does it end? what do air strikes accomplish? we just delay things. have we entered them?
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does it escalate? in a campaign you don't want to bring that out and not have a good and how to follow through the end game and the obama administration they don't want this to become an issue just before the election because it is unpredictable how it would go. they may well want to deal with this after the election. i agree with you. >> there is a flaw how we approach our thinking and reporting around presidential elections. the campaign's goal is to make about that person. we had this discussion, romney/obama. and yet as was said, secretary
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clinton's trip, and the more shaping power, that the president makes, who is the secretary of defense and secretary of state? like the wine from pulp fiction. personality matters. goes a long way. look at the difference between secretary rumsfeld versus gates and on the one hand you will never be able to draw out from candidate who are you going to appoint you can get a sense of the type of people they would appoint by asking what are your examples of best secretary of defense or best secretary of state? i know what obama would say. i don't know what romney would say or gates who served under obama. >> interesting to know that to get a better indicator where they want to see the department
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go. >> moderator of meet the press. >> i am at brookings. can they do both? >> we should mention the broad budget environment. we have a situation that backs up marvin's point because mid romney has been specific about wanting to increase defense but not about increasing diplomacy or implication but lower priority. if you look generally at his budget and i am not saying this for my own accounting but various organizations like the federal budget deciding on both candidates overall fiscal projections and hold them to reality with both claiming they want to reduce the deficit. neither one is great. i never thought i would miss ross perot but i miss him a little. president obama has been more specific how he would cast the deficit. mitt romney has talked about plans to reduce tax reductions
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to lower rates and still not lower revenue but he hasn't been specific and he talked about reforming entitlements. not that obama has wanted to himself. if you look up the bottom line obama's budget with that to gdp and front -- around 75%. romney would have publicly held debt relative to gdp at 90%. romney's plan as best we can tell is less rigorous on reducing the deficit and doesn't have money for diplomacy. >> right here. it is coming. either one. >> michael bruno of aviation
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week. you have done a great job describing some of the differences between the candidates. what are the milestones? decision points the next president will face? sequestration jan. second, 2014. those kinds of things. >> is congress in this administration have to do something or not do something
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with sequestration by jan. second. the milestone than is on january 20th when we have the same president in the second term or a new president. what they try to do to modify or come up with some sort of deal with one hasn't been reached by that time. there will be a very early milestone of sequestration. they have to hit the ground running and probably a continuing resolution so for the f y 13 budget they have to do something with that and immediately after that come out with f y 14 budget and we 5-year projection which in reality is almost all put together by the pentagon before the election is decided. i don't expect to see a huge change. and this administration continues in office.
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>> in the front? >> right here. >> friend of brookings. i can't base the question on either polling or extensive meteor analysis but i have a strong sense that many people seem to feel the choice between defense and welfare and helped for the port and drugs and so forth, can you please tell us what percentage of total federal outlays are going to what you call defense including war budgets and what percentage of discretionary spending is devoted to defense where the real choices are made between
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defense and in general terms social spending. thank you. >> you are pulling out -- >> some numbers. this is not exhaustive by any means that president obama's fyi 13 budget request, 15% of the total federal budget goes to the department of defense excluding war funding. and additional $88 billion of war funding so social security gets 23% of the federal budget. medicare, medicaid gets 7%. six% goes to interest on the national death. that will explode over the next decade. by the end of the decade we spend more on interest in the national debt than we do on defense or medicare or medicaid. 14% of the federal budget goes to all non-defense discretionary spending. social security and medicare and
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medicaid are mandatory spending programs. talking about the discretionary part of the budget. that gives you an idea of the order of magnitude. the items in the federal budget, on the one side you have revenue. on the other side the big ones are social security, defense, medicare. you want to frame this as a simple choice is among those things. what do you do with revenues? programs for the elderly or defense. those are big choices in your federal budget. >> you laid out the number from the planned obama of budget. what is your rough scenario for a plan that you previously said if you carried it out it goes up by 40%. how does that change those numbers? >> haven't projected the other categories because a lot of
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programs, social security and medicare and medicaid on autopilot because they are mandatory programs. congress doesn't have to appropriate for these programs each year. they stay on the track they are on now which means they will grow. it is inflation and federal spending. if revenues -- they stayed about the same. and eliminate deductions so it balances out so you have the revenue side of the equation basically the same and spending going up in all categories like social security and medicare. medicaid would go down under romney i would suspect if you look at the ryan plan that is what they're talking about doing.
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then the 14% for all non-defense discretionary spending includes foreign affairs budget for the state department and homeland security and veterans' benefits. some are discretionary and some are mandatory and things like a, air traffic control, medical research, science and technology programs. it would have to be cut pretty steeply to make this add up. the other alternative is you don't give any more in revenue. you hold programs relatively flat or decrease them and run a higher deficit. that is an option and we have a history of doing that. to summarize that was great. of 15% of the federal budget that president obama wants to spend on defense not counting war bonds. governor romney in the short
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term will spend 16% of the federal budget. 15 versus 16 or 17. if governor romney were to hold himself to the goal of 4% of gdp devoted to the military, between romney and obama grows much wider so by 2017 something like 13% for obama and 19% for romney but in the short term more like 15% of federal spending versus 16% or 17%. >> i want to ask you if you have any closing broader thoughts and go on the same order. >> i would simply say they've found some innovative defense policies. bigger for governor romney.
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his aspirations are less realistic but both looking at defense plans that need to be rethought in some ways with innovation and defense problems. sometimes it will be old fashioned issues and in other cases it may mean new innovative ways of operating military forces. one of my favorite examples is we may have to find a way to make do with them being smaller and one way to do that is this idea of having crews fly from the united states to overseas operating theatres to replace each other to policy called crew swap. and navy's think tank has an idea -- hard to do in fairness to the navy. in fairness to the navy that is the kind of ideas that needs to be expanded because we need more innovative ways of using limited resources we already have.
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>> going forward regardless who is president the administration may change but the matter remains the same. there are hard fiscal issues to deal with and in defense it will force a hard strategic choice of. i look forward to getting past the election when we can see whatever administration is in charge what they start to do in terms of making strategic choices but the longer you wait the tougher the decisions get. the idea both sides are pursuing setting a particular budget targets and saying that is what we will stick to and fill any strategy behind it is not a good approach. after the election we move beyond that. 4% gdp or 4% for freedom may sound appealing to people but alliteration is not a strategy. at some point you have to put something behind it and justify. my last point is defense is a
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small issue. as much as it is a larger issue personally, it is not really about defense. it is about the budget. that the budget depends more on what happens outside of defense in terms of tax revenue and entitlements spending and non-defense discretionary spending. that is what it depends on. defense is what roles out after the bigger issues in terms of public perception. the big issues have been decided. >> i was thinking earlier of numbers of polling data that peter provided. 5% the economy being 55% and national defence 5% or less because it is not the central issue in the minds of the american people and therefore it is not the central issue on the minds of the people in congress or the president or the campaign
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so you have to deal with the reality of what it is we have got and what we have got is not a bright horizon opening in a couple months but a continued drizzle and we have to live with that. and we have to live -- i could argue with my points but i am afraid -- i have so much respect for that guy but there is a point at which the american people if you follow my line of reasoning that this is a wonderful time to live. in the old days people still had the feeling that the kid was going to live a better life than the father and that is not the case right now and that is a huge change in the sociology and mentality that this country and that says a lot about where we are and we have to grow up and
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understand that things of change. >> closing for me, striking between the large number of important issues out there in defense and whatever the ones we don't yet know about in the 2000 election was primarily defense and what did the winner end of dealing with for the next eight years? despite that, there are a series of questions we don't have answers yet from the candidates. a series of assumptions they are making in their plans that remain to be tested and a series of myths, falsehood or whatever you want to describe about the post truth politics of the day that need to be knocked down and hitting thohr

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